The picture for the 2015 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships got a little clearer Wednesday, as the NCAA released the brackets for the national tournament March 19-21 in the Scotttrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.
"It is good to get these guys to St. Louis and it is what we have trained for all season and it will be a tough tournament," UW head coach Mark Branch said. "A lot of things can happen at the NCAA Championship and we need to visualize ourselves reaching out goals and wrestle at our best."
After five University of Wyoming wrestlers earned automatic bids to the event at the NCAA West Regional, the selection committee announced Wednesday that another Cowboy, senior Andy McCulley, had earned an at-large spot, bringing UW's total to six.
Senior Tyler Cox is the Pokes' highest seeded wrestler coming in eighth. Senior Shane Woods is seeded 13th with McCulley going into the Championship seeded 14th. Senior Dakota Friesth, sophomore Benjamin Stroh and junior Tanner Harms round out the Pokes in the championship. Each weight class fields 33 wrestlers, and the NCAA seeds the top 16 in each class and draws in the remaining wrestlers.
"Our experience will help us know what to expect from the atmosphere in such a great event," Branch said.
Here's a breakdown of the first-round opponent for each of Wyoming's six NCAA qualifiers:
125 : No. 8 seed senior Tyler Cox (22-7) vs. Jesse Delgado (Illinois, 9-3)
165: Senior Dakota Friesth (22-11) vs. No. 6 seed Taylor Walsh (Indiana, 34-5)
174: No. 14 seed senior Andy McCulley vs. John Staudenmayer (North Carolina, 23-13)
184: Sophomore Benjamin Stroh (22-9) vs. Jack McKeever (Binghamton, 27-16)
197: No. 13 senior Shane Woods (32-3) vs. Jared Haught (Virginia Tech, 18-17)
285: Junior Tanner Harms vs. No. 2 seed Michael McMullan (Northwestern, 26-2)